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Rabin in Apparent Warning to Jordan

Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin appeared to suggest today that if Jordan allows Palestine Liberation Organization personnel to remain on its territory, it would be open to an Israeli attack similar to that carried out against the PLO’s headquarters in Tunis last week.

Speaking on the CBS-TV “Face the Nation” program, Rabin warned all countries to “be aware that whoever gives refuge to terrorists will pay for keeping them there.” When he was asked if these countries included Jordan, Rabin said:

“I would advise the Jordanian government to refrain from allowing it to be done and to restore the policy that was kept by Jordan for almost 15 years … a policy which practically prevented any terror acts to be originated or to be carried out from Jordan. “

Rabin was not asked if “allowing it to be done” referred to an Israeli raid or to the taking of refuge by terrorists in Jordan. But Israel has charged Jordan’s King Hussein with allowing the influx of ranking PLO officials and other personnel into his country in recent months.

Although a spate of murders of Jews by West Bank Palestinians — most recently the killing of three Israelis whose bodies were discovered yesterday — appear to have been random attacks by Arab youths, Israel has blamed the PLO, and Israeli military officials have reportedly linked them indirectly with the PLO presence in Amman.

Following the Tunis raid, Israeli Minister of Commerce and Industry Ariel Sharon is reported to have threatened that Israel would attack bases in Jordan in a similar fashion. But no such direct warning has come from the Prime Minister or from the Defense or Foreign Ministries to date.

Rabin declined to comment on how Israel intended to react to the murder of the three Israelis whose bodies were found yesterday. But he warned that “no doubt terror organizations are going to pay much more heavily for their intentions and for their acts of continuous terror against us.” The Israeli Defense Minister denied any U.S. complicity in the Israeli raid.

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